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Four in a Bed :: New Series (Part 2)


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Old 14-02-2013, 10:11
tynka bell
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I can't believe in the TA reviews for the Richwood, that they charged a guest nearly £250 to paint over a mark on the wall!

That can't be right? Can it? Am I seeing things?

Their sarky responses don't sit very well with me. I wouldn't want to stay anywhere that had such bolshy owners
Bit think about it ... if they charge all guests a £250 deposit for 'damages', find any spurious reason to claim said deposit in full, then all the redecoration work will be paid for by other people !! The downside will be word will get out and there will be no guests to be able to charge a £250 deposit!!
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Old 14-02-2013, 10:32
pegasus2
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I wonder if yesterday's owners refuse to stay tonight because of religious reasons-tonight's is a pub too, isn't it? I find these two quite rude and dismissive. Don't come on a show where you are going to be criticised if you can't hack it. You're quite capable of dishing it out. Nothing on the forms last night was so bad to take major offence to it. The guy just keeps going on and on about the two blonde ladies. It's getting rather lame now. At least they were up front about the hair in the breakfast.
d.
On the programme's website it says they refuse to stay at the B&B because of something they discover in their room and there is a "huge clash" on payment day. Cannot wait for this
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Old 14-02-2013, 10:32
MissCulture
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As I've stated in another thread, we were hotel owners for several years in France and I have known two couples who were just like these two lady owners. They run the place on their own and they have lost sight of what the establishment is all about...it is about offering accommodation to members of the public. These two ladies have become overly possessive of their property, they treat their paying customers as though they are trespassers, as though they are unwelcome houseguests. They have lost sight of the fact that the guests are not paying to stay in their personal home, but in a business premises. I have never paid £250 'damage' payment anywhere I have stayed and to treat guests on arrival with the assumption they will go on the rampage is very poor PR. I think they need to give the game up and try another line of work. We stayed in a couple-run small hotel in the Tarn region of France, owners were British, and they let you know at the off that you were in their territory and you weren't to touch this, or do that and what time they liked to go to bed so don't be back too late that night. Very unwelcoming and made us feel like we were an inconvenience more than anything.
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Old 14-02-2013, 10:38
nick202
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One point, and I really hope this isn't offensive or judgemental in any way, is that places like the Richwood in places like Torbay tend to deal with large, boisterous groups, e.g. hen parties, so I would guess that the pre-ordering of breakfast and the damages cost is partly to cover themselves and make a little easier when dealing with such volumes of guests.
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Old 14-02-2013, 10:40
Mrs Mackintosh
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One point, and I really hope this isn't offensive or judgemental in any way, is that places like the Richwood in places like Torbay tend to deal with large, boisterous groups, e.g. hen parties, so I would guess that the pre-ordering of breakfast and the damages cost is partly to cover themselves and make a little easier when dealing with such volumes of guests.
That makes perfect sense.

I can't wait for tonight's and tomorrows eps. Funny how we all love a bit of conflict, don't we? Hee hee....
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Old 14-02-2013, 10:41
gboy
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As I've stated in another thread, we were hotel owners for several years in France and I have known two couples who were just like these two lady owners. They run the place on their own and they have lost sight of what the establishment is all about...it is about offering accommodation to members of the public. These two ladies have become overly possessive of their property, they treat their paying customers as though they are trespassers, as though they are unwelcome houseguests. They have lost sight of the fact that the guests are not paying to stay in their personal home, but in a business premises. I have never paid £250 'damage' payment anywhere I have stayed and to treat guests on arrival with the assumption they will go on the rampage is very poor PR. I think they need to give the game up and try another line of work. We stayed in a couple-run small hotel in the Tarn region of France, owners were British, and they let you know at the off that you were in their territory and you weren't to touch this, or do that and what time they liked to go to bed so don't be back too late that night. Very unwelcoming and made us feel like we were an inconvenience more than anything.
I wonder how establishments like that survive in the current economic climate. And there are so many B&Bs and hotels out there all clamouring for our business, competition is pretty tough.
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Old 14-02-2013, 10:42
nick202
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That makes perfect sense.

I can't wait for tonight's and tomorrows eps. Funny how we all love a bit of conflict, don't we? Hee hee....
Indeed - although it's also the 'unknown' cause of tonight's conflab which is the USP
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Old 14-02-2013, 10:54
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But he seemed to have it in for her from the minute he opened the door to them both at his place. Slightly irrational methinks. Yes, she appears a bit in your face but, rather that, than be a sour old puss.
The trouble with FIAB is it puts too much emphasis on the personalities of the owners. In reality if you stayed at Paul's how much of him would you actually see? If I were choosing a B&B in Stratford location, price, facilities and breakfast quality would be on my list. Whether the owner likes me or not wouldn't bother me in the slightest. In fact an oddball owner can be a good source of after dinner stories
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Old 14-02-2013, 10:54
MissCulture
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One point, and I really hope this isn't offensive or judgemental in any way, is that places like the Richwood in places like Torbay tend to deal with large, boisterous groups, e.g. hen parties, so I would guess that the pre-ordering of breakfast and the damages cost is partly to cover themselves and make a little easier when dealing with such volumes of guests.
Having read the responses on TA just recently the owners react with hostility to criticism and whoever writes the owners response has an insult and personal attack for the writer of every negative review. Re the pre-ordered breakfast...some owners do this because they lack the ability to cook meals on demand. If I was told 'order now or else' I would take the 'or else' option and leave. She wrote down the 3 digit security code from a customers card while they stood there....that is illegal I'm afraid. With regards to stains on the wall and on the pillows...there has to be allowance for normal wear and tear and structural damage is not a stain on the bloody wall! charge for structural damage yes - but there are legal guidelines for this - but for a mark on a pillow? that is carrying out a vendetta in my opinion.
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Old 14-02-2013, 11:06
SueG
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Having read the responses on TA just recently the owners react with hostility to criticism and whoever writes the owners response has an insult and personal attack for the writer of every negative review. Re the pre-ordered breakfast...some owners do this because they lack the ability to cook meals on demand. If I was told 'order now or else' I would take the 'or else' option and leave. She wrote down the 3 digit security code from a customers card while they stood there....that is illegal I'm afraid.
Yes, and she tersely referred to "Terms and Conditions" when the guest objected. Appalling attitude.
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Old 14-02-2013, 11:08
Ondine
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I've not looked at the Richwood's web-site and leaving aside the issue of the £250 deposit (which is totally and would stop me staying there in the first place) but as it's not been mentioned in the show, I'll ignore it and say that I would have put 'yes' in answer to the 'Would you stay here again?' question on my form. I thought the two couples who said 'no' tonight were rather harsh and a little out of order given the scores they gave for hosting, a good night's sleep and what looked like a good breakfast. If all they had as reasons for a 'no' was tired decor and ordering brekkie the night before, well, I'm a little bemused. Those reasons wouldn't justify a big underpayment, surely, so it seems like game-playing or doing what they'd been told to by the production team to me.
I agree that those reasons wouldn't justify a big underpayment but I think the "would you stay here again?" question is a separate issue. I would probably pay in full but also tick the "No" box. I've been to restaurants where the meal was fine but would not want to go back because I just didn't care for the place. If a b&b has tired decor, I would look for somewhere else.
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Old 14-02-2013, 11:55
Normandie
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...places like the Richwood in places like Torbay tend to deal with large, boisterous groups, e.g. hen parties, so I would guess that the pre-ordering of breakfast and the damages cost is partly to cover themselves and make a little easier when dealing with such volumes of guests.
Yes. While afaIaa, most b&bs don't take a damage deposit, it is quite normal in self-catering rental properties and the owner's possession of a dd often focuses the minds of less than careful guests who might customarily think vomiting across bedding and furniture is just a big joke with no financial repercussions.

If I were in the market of hen and stag parties (never never never would I be) then I don't think taking a dd is wrong. However, as I think someone observed upthread, marks on pillowcases and walls (cases knocking into them, etc) are to be expected and are not something one would every dream of bringing to a guest's notice far less trying to charge them for. Even a glass of wine over bedding is bloody annoying but simply an accident - often caused because someone is in an unfamiliar environment and lack the automatic spatial awareness that they'd have in their own homes.

You can't charge people for that... you just sympathise with their accident... and become an expert on stain removal.

I don't get why people are so anti ordering an evening meal in advance. If you want to eat at a specific restaurant - a small restaurant where the owner cooks all the food themselves from scratch - then (sometimes) part of the deal is ordering (and even paying) in advance. If you don't want to commit yourself by 2pm that's fine - there are plenty of alternatives, I'm sure - but don't make your preferences the owner's "fault" for a commercial and practical inability to satisfy them.

Many b&bs - chambres d'hôtes in France offer evening meals (table d'hôte - table of the host) to guests. Here, the menu is agreed in advance - often several weeks in advance and for meals cooked on night of arrival, they are frequently paid for in advance.

Then, once guests are in situ, they decide each morning if they want to eat in that night, what they want to eat and I spend the afternoon shopping and cooking. If deciding ahead is unappealing then they don't eat here, they go to a restaurant. A lot of guests choose to eat in. So I don't see the Beirut's book in advance requirements as unusual or unreasonable.
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Old 14-02-2013, 11:59
whatever54
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Morning



A couple of thoughts on the above.
First off there was wine on the table at their meal, which was at their place and in some of the TA feedback there's an issue about guests bringing in alcohol because they sell it on the premises - so not sure that is likely to be the case really.

Re the Yurt situation, I found that quite contrived really. There's the conversation up above about Saida's jumpsuit, quite like a ski suit really - very warm. Seems almost like she came pre-prepared


Nick - love Karen Walker - love her.
yes it could appear she was told 'be prepared, warm clothing' and found the jumpsuit in the back of her wardrobe especially for the trip.
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Old 14-02-2013, 12:24
Shrike
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yes it could appear she was told 'be prepared, warm clothing' and found the jumpsuit in the back of her wardrobe especially for the trip.
She lives in Torquay - she probably thinks the Lake District is positively Artic and dressed accordingly

(Actually quite sensible as it can get nippy up there much earlier than down south)
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Old 14-02-2013, 12:38
M@nterik
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Yes, and she tersely referred to "Terms and Conditions" when the guest objected. Appalling attitude.
The problem is "terms and conditions" does not mean she can put anything in them.

There is UCTA to contend with.
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Old 14-02-2013, 12:40
jsmith99
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When I read hotel reviews, the first thing I read are the "terribles". Some, of course, can be discarded as silly, especially in countries where the hotel can be a 1000 year old mansion or castle. "No turn down service", "the window's high up".

The answer from the proprietor to genuine compliants is very revealing. In some cases the guests have made errors, in others, it was a very temporary situation, apologies etc. Others will examine their procedures, though not promising to change them.

In the case of the richwood, and one last week, I didn't bother reading higher-marked reviews. Even if something is genuinely the guest's fault, there's no harm in apologising., and saying you won't do it again.

Ant to end a reply with "we wouldn't want him back here" is unforgiveable. Have these people never heard of repeat business? Especially in a holiday area where people return year after year?

And do any of the owners really think a wooden plaque is going overcome treatment like that?
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Old 14-02-2013, 12:41
M@nterik
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After reading some of the complaints and responses on TA of V&S's place, I noted the "damages " deposit! What never heard of such a thing although of course many hotel have your CC details and I suppose they could very well use these. Also I see the bistro i often closed ( which would be the big thing for me..the food by the way being more important than a fish tank. I think this is a case of two ladies biting off more than they could chew and getting their hip scarves i a twist. So iam revising my gernerous assessment and thinking why oh why....didn;t you go fr that two up two down (ensuite of course)?
If you look at her terms and conditions they seem to be modelling themselves on Ryanair with charges here, there and everywhere.

Getting stroppy about guests taking alcohol back to their room is unheard of by me. I have never stopped in a place that objected to it,.
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Old 14-02-2013, 12:44
M@nterik
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It seems that Veronicas parents used to take the family to holiday in British seaside B&Bs in the 60 and early 70's and she has styled this place on them. Just awful.
They have a poor attitude, the others are being quite generous, I think.

I do like the idea that you can get up to make yourself some hot toast if you want it.

I have decided, Paul is an annoying little berk and I hope the two busty blondes smother him.

At the start of tonight show the narrator called V&S a couple.
I thought they were Mother and Daughter ?
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Old 14-02-2013, 13:46
Ondine
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If you look at her terms and conditions they seem to be modelling themselves on Ryanair with charges here, there and everywhere.

Getting stroppy about guests taking alcohol back to their room is unheard of by me. I have never stopped in a place that objected to it,.
BIB That horrible man at the scottish castle (can't remember his name but everyone else will ) had it in his rules as well and he mentioned it on screen. His view was that as he provided a bar, customers should use it.
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Old 14-02-2013, 13:47
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I thought they were Mother and Daughter ?
I didn't get that impression did they say anything or is it just a feeling?

She lives in Torquay - she probably thinks the Lake District is positively Artic and dressed accordingly
although it wasn't the best of weather, granted.

...
I don't get why people are so anti ordering an evening meal in advance.
...
Many b&bs - chambres d'hôtes in France offer evening meals (table d'hôte - table of the host) to guests. Here, the menu is agreed in advance - often several weeks in advance and for meals cooked on night of arrival, they are frequently paid for in advance.
...
Normandie, in addition to some of the very unprofessional replies to writers on TA - and I totally agree with JSSmith99's points above - I'm left confused as to what and how The Richwood is operating.

It's a big property granted and it bills itself as a Hotel, but at other times I heard Veronica refer to it quite distinctly as 'the house' and I think that's the essence of the problem.
They're saddled with far too large a place, with hardly any, or no, staff and they live there, it is their home, but it's not a B&B, or the traditional restaurant with rooms and they haven't worked out how it should be placed and run. If you set yourself up as a Hotel I think people are entitled to expect Hotel Service. Otherwise they should try and cut their losses and go off to do something that's manageable and which fulfills expectations.

One of the two women said, they'd be better off using some money to do a proper front of house for a restaurant and do that properly.

Looking at TA they've had to go down the route of getting involved with special offer voucher sites and yes, they probably have had some bad experiences and been left out of pocket, but again, you can't start ranting at the guests if they take up an offer and then aren't the kind of guest you prefer.


By the way I was quoted a while ago where I spoke about the negative TA reviews and the bit where I'd mentioned how many positive reviews there are was cut out from the quote.
I was trying to be even-handed, but as JSSmith said, it's how complaints are dealt with that says most about the proprietors of any business, when the customers are happy there's nothing to sort out is there.
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Old 14-02-2013, 13:54
zoepaulpenny
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can we now get back to the UK program?? this weeks ?? thanks..
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Old 14-02-2013, 13:57
jsmith99
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Thanks for the kind words, SolarSail. Some of the reasons for 1* reviews simply baffle me. For example. a hotel in Rethymon with some rooms in an old Venetian mansion : "the rooms are dark".

Or a lovely beach village in Paphos, where you could book self-catering, B&B or half-board (or change upwards on a daily basis when you got there). The room is equipped with mini-oven, microwave, kettle, toaster, empty fridge : "there are only two rings on the mini-oven".

I thought they were Mother and Daughter ?
And which did you think was which?

EDIT : sorry, zoepaul, you posted that while I was composing the above.
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Old 14-02-2013, 13:59
whatever54
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can we now get back to the UK program?? this weeks ?? thanks..
3 hours until we find out why they refuse to stay
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Old 14-02-2013, 14:19
SolarSail
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I am discussing this week's Zoe.
I think it's getting a bit like CDWM though, too many different episodes running the same week and it can get confusing.

Thanks for the kind words, SolarSail. Some of the reasons for 1* reviews simply baffle me. For example. a hotel in Rethymon with some rooms in an old Venetian mansion : "the rooms are dark".
What you said is absolutely true though.
So often people don't think it through (Escape to the Country, the brief is a chocolate box traditional cottage and then the criticism is that rooms are small and ceilings low ) Veronica and Saida complained about noise when they were staying in a busy town centre hotel where the upside of that was the convenience of being right in the heart of things (Stratford)
Yes owners could interline their curtains if they don't have/can't afford double glazing, but as they themselves point out, it all costs.

A lot of the feedback that seems to offend the owners wouldn't even arise with real guests e.g. the lack of an ensuite, because the guest simply wouldn't book that room.
The end result of 'No, I wouldn't stay here again ... because of lack of ensuite/because I was in a Yurt' etc. wouldn't crop up either.

3 hours until we find out why they refuse to stay
Tempting as my suggestion of finding Paul in a mankini and dicky bow in their room, might be, the only sensible thing I can think of is that there's 1 single room at the Inn tonight and the others all have double beds not twins
LINK
The rooms look very nice to me, and all the reviews on TA are good since Helen took over - I've looked at the restaurant reviews as well as the B&B side.

The website dos say an extra bed can be put in a room, but perhaps it hasn't been and the women aren't happy
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Old 14-02-2013, 14:21
Normandie
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Normandie, in addition to some of the very unprofessional replies to writers on TA - and I totally agree with JSSmith99's points above - I'm left confused as to what and how The Richwood is operating.
Do you recollect how long they said they've been running it? Less than two years?

Looking at TA they've had to go down the route of getting involved with special offer voucher sites and yes, they probably have had some bad experiences and been left out of pocket, but again, you can't start ranting at the guests if they take up an offer and then aren't the kind of guest you prefer.
Often, the cheaper the offer the cheaper the guest.

I think I read on one of the TripAdvisor reviews (or in one of the ill-advised responses) that the some of the deals are £29.99 per night. They can't get a return on that, especially if there are extra laundering overheads, etc. I wonder how Premier Inns and similar (who charge the same or a bit more?) cope with hen parties etc.

I am discussing this week's Zoe.
Perhaps my reference to Beirut confused.
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